17th November 2009


The Consumer Council has today reiterated its call for greater transparency in the fuel industry and says Government must now put pressure on suppliers to be upfront about their costs. The call came as the Consumer Council completed a 12-month review of petrol and diesel prices and prepares to brief MLAs on the topic

Aodhan O’Donnell, head of transport at the Consumer Council said: “Northern Ireland consumers bear the brunt of volatile petrol and diesel prices – three quarters of people in Northern Ireland travel by car at least three times a week [1] and the majority of our freight and commercial business uses our road network. Over the last eighteen months consumers have endured unprecedented changes in petrol and diesel prices. Consumers are at the end of the supply chain and are most affected by prices as they rise and fall. 

“In January 2009 it cost £43.13[2] to fill a car with petrol and £49.25 to fill with diesel. However, as we have witnessed fuel prices increase since the turn of the year so has the cost of filling up. It is now £10.98 more expensive to fill with petrol and £5.64 for diesel.

“The fuel industry supplying our petrol and diesel needs to do more than simply tell consumers they are getting a good deal. It must explain to consumers how the costs incurred at each stage of production and supply affects the final price paid at the pumps. Consumers do accept that the price of petrol and diesel will fluctuate but they must be provided with consistent information on what is driving the cost both upward and downward.  This is a positive challenge for the fuel industry to demonstrate fairness to consumers in its pricing,” concluded Aodhan.

The Consumer Council continues to undertake a weekly ‘price watch’ of petrol and diesel prices at a sample of 77 sites across Northern Ireland.  The sites have been selected to provide a geographic spread, represent the market share and provide a mix of supermarket and independent retailers.  The Consumer Council shows the cheapest, dearest and average prices in areas across NI. Visit for more information or phone 0800 121 6022.


  1. Consumer Council media contact: Keelin Kelly, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail, [email protected]  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.

For more information, visit our website at

[1] Public Transport – On the right track? A Consumer Council summary report into attitudes to public transport in Northern Ireland. June 2009.

[2] Based on an average 50litre tank in January and November 2009.